Monday, December 12, 2011

Reclaiming Complex and Nuance


This post is about my anger, frustration, pain, anxiety, fear and all that baggage that is associated with my inability to know what to say about my dear sweet friend who attempted suicide yesterday. 

But before I get into my shit, I want to direct you to Mr. Doodle's:
Top 10 Reasons Why I Left the Church
Top 10 Reasons Why I Came Back to the Church

Feel free to leave Mr. Doodle a comment or write your own blog post about your top ten reasons you left.   If you haven't left the church then write a top 10 reasons why you stay or came back.  But by all means, avoid calling people to repentance if they don't agree with you.  It's not going to convince anyone.  Mr. Doodle has every right to do as he please for whatever reasons he has.   As do I and as do you.  But just know, if you say I should do things a certain way, convince me first how your life's path can possibly have anything to do with the reality of mine when it comes to your own self-awareness of what I perceive.   In other words, if you can get inside my head, you would know what to say to convince me. 
  
I don't have a top ten reason why I left myself.  It's more like a top three.
#3 Co-dependency runs rampant and is self-sustaining.
#2 A dogmatic culture of "one life fits all" philosophy.
#1 It's a twisted, abusive, homophobic, fallacy, of conditional love which imposes unnecessary complexity and nuance into the social lives of vulnerable people where there otherwise would be a naturally simple existence. (see #2 & #3)  

Yes, I'll say it; my life is still being complicated by the baggage that comes with deeply imposed, completely unnecessary, fallacies of religious belief, which create a complex and nuanced social climate that only an omnipotent god could navigate, a complexity and nuance that must be danced around and walked on like a fucking, god damn, eggshell so as not to frighten the overly sensitive egos of the superstitious, busy bodies.   If you are offended by that classification, ponder it for yourself why that is the case.  You may have a blog post you could write for your own blog. (Post a link to it in the comments if you like.)

I used to love the word 'nuance'.   As a music composer it was the nuance of the performance and harmonic selections that separated a good piece of music from a great one.   I used to love the word 'complex' because, as a composer, I could stun my rhythmic sensibilities with layers of poly metered rhythms that was both invigorating and meditative.

But I've learned to distrust these words.   I've seen them used against me.  Thrown back at me as yet another means by which I am to compromise my feelings, sensibilities, life experiences and just plain life, so that fearful superstitions will not be challenged in their inability to look at anything other than the shadows on the fucking wall.   

Navigating these waters, wading through the mud, balancing on a pin head, opening a fucking window, is now this delicate and unattainable "complex and nuanced" perfection that must be played in just the right way or they revoke their love, shut off all dialog, close down all ability to communicate and then they take their ball and go home, a ball that was gifted to them by the one seeking an understanding dialog in the first place.  All the while, as they leave, they are screeching the need for empathy and understanding.   

Empathy?  Yes, amongst the complex and nuanced wash of social engineering is the word empathy, a concept that is imbued, in this case, with conditions that only go one way because only one side of that dialog understands and practices it.   The other side can only pay lip-service to it.  

I sit and watch with full understanding, yes, even empathy, all of the struggles and fears that have embodied those who can only pay lip-service.  And I can understand why they can only pay lip-service, but I can't say a single thing about it.  I can't tell them what my path of life has been, I can't talk about my experiences, fears, struggles, joys, loves.  I can't even begin to express how our experiences are wrong for each other.   All I can do is just listen and let them tell me I'm a perverse and evil miscreant because I cannot believe and live as they do.  I understand why they believe and say that  but I can't say anything about my reality.  They won't listen.  They can't listen. They can't understand.    They are like little babies who only know the world as it exists inside of their heads.   I understand why they can't understand even if the words fail me in explaining it.  But I can only sit there for so long before I have been drained of my will to live.  I resent having to babysit these adults. I've got a life to live; I can't waste it away trying to open a dialog with unreason.  And yet I keep trying.  It's leading to insanity.

I have, for the most part, learned to no longer believe that I am a perverse and evil miscreant, but only when I'm rational.  But the strange nuanced and complex world of the human psyche can still be triggered into readopting those old beliefs, and often in subtle and gradual ways.  Before long, the mind has switched into a new consciousness, into another space, another reality where I only know, understand, and experience these irrational beliefs and nothing else.  If the head-space is irrational,  I can't think my way out of it.   I become the baby who must be babysat.  And now I'm the social burden that only a nuanced and complex pandering of my fragile ego can pull me out of.   And if I'm lucky, I'll get the empathy I need before I've convinced myself that I must die.  This is fucked up!

Nuanced social navigation is an unnecessarily activity when religious dogma is not imposed on a person's identity, thus warping the very reality that is our existence.  Life is not complex when religious dogma is not imposed into every aspect of it, especially aspects of life where it  cannot offer anything of value, which is all of it.

I would love to say that religious dogma is to blame for this social dysfunction but I can't.  All it really does is use us and abuse us and keeps us stuck in it.  There is no way around this.  We are like this because we evolved to be this way.  What I can only hope for is that we will eventually evolve out of it, so that the words 'nuance' and 'complex' can go back to being words to describe aesthetics rather than the navigation of social dysfunction.  But, religious dogma doesn't believe in evolution.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

where no one wants to be

Why don't I write here anymore?  I think a part of me doesn't want to answer that question here.  It's not safe anymore.  After all this time, all these months, I've realized that I've been bullied to keeping my mouth shut about some aspects of my life.  The realm of my mind that needs a voice doesn't have an understanding ear.   And I'm sick and tired of trying to say what it is, without saying what it is.  But then, don't expect me to say it now that I've mentioned I'm sick of keeping it to myself.    

What I want to say, I want to say it to a person.  To their face.  I want to read their expressions and watch for sparks of understanding, insight, inspiration, and I want to hear what they have to say about what I said.  I want them to talk to me with the desire to know what I have to say about what they said.   I want to hear and feel the tone of the voice, read and experience the body language.  I want to be someone to them in real life, and I want them to be someone to me in the same living space. 

This medium of text, a string of words which only convey just a microcosm of information is cold, empty, shallow.  It is not the essence of the person; it's not the essence of me. These are just my words filtered through hours of thought and rewriting.  I don't talk like this; I don't express my essence this way. 

When someone experiences me in the flesh, they don't see the formality or the humor they saw in my writing.  I don't think that fast, I don't talk that fast.  I stumble with what to say, I constantly misspeak my thoughts and often repeat myself.  Many times the words I want to speak never seem to reach my mouth leaving me to frustratingly search, strain and grasp for them. Often in failure.  I know what they mean, I know what I want to convey, but that damn word won't come forward.   So I pause, think, ponder, clear my head, wait for the word to come to the surface.  "Ses...sees...serrs...serrr...serpe...serep...what the fuck is the word I'm looking for?"

This is not stuttering.   I'm vocalizing in an attempt to stir up the word to come forward. Perhaps, desperately, give the listener, who I would hope hasn't tuned me out already, a clue so they could offer a suggestion to trigger my memory.   All too often they have tuned me out or take my pause as a queue instead to change the subject or worse, walk away.

Things haven't always been this way.   But they are getting worse and I fear that in time I will have lost all ability. 

Nonetheless, with that frustration aside, speaking my mind, has given me more than any writing has done because it has connected me to people in deeper ways, given my mind a chance to reprogram all of its errant beliefs about body language, mannerisms, vocal tone, and the intent behind it, undoing years of social malignment from growing up with emotionally abusive parents up in a deeply judgmental culture.  It's allowed me to find a community of likeminded people who can relate to my ideas and feelings and given me perspective and companionship.  

But, only to a certain extent. 

I've come to a moment in my life where I have found that I can no longer speak an important aspect of my essence.  I've tried to speak it but I get blank stares, disapproving glances or just plain antagonistic comebacks to shut the fuck up about it.  Bullying.  This place, this blog, is actually not a safe space for me to explore those thoughts either.  For this aspect in my life,  I'm not in the right community.   I'm stuck, alone again, without a community for the thoughts in my head. 

But I do know where those communities are!  And even though I don't know the right words to use, I give it a try anyway.  And if it doesn't fall apart right away, or never starts because I'm not versed on using the correct language, it eventually falls apart anyway.  Why?  Because I'm too far away.   I'm not worth the trouble or the time because I'm too far away.   But what do they mean by that?  Many of them are willing to travel 5 to 10, 20 hours away, or even fly across the country.  But they won't for me?  Why?  Because I don't live in a city or an area of the country that interests them; I don't live in a place where there is a community.  It's just me.   And because of that, I seem to have nothing to offer them, despite my ability and willingness to travel to them.  So our communication ends. They no longer return my inquiries or express any interest in what I have to say.  No more email, no more chats. Alone, again.

That triggers me.  Anxiety, frustration, anger, hurt, rejection, abandonment...

The only thing left is to delete them from Facebook so I don't have to subject myself to a constant barge of all the great things they are posing about the community.  And as I'm quickly losing my ability to freely travel, I can't help but think to myself,  "what's the fucking point of any of it anymore?"

All, I've got right now is my isolation in my dead end job in a corner of the world where no one wants to be.  


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Disillusion

It hurts.

When one set of friends talk total shit about another set of friends, 
it compels me to question the value that I am to people.
Especially If someone's value can be so easily tossed aside.

So, as I sit in stunned silence for a moment,
I am deeply afraid to say anything, and not sure what to say.  
What I fear, if I do say anything at all, is what my rage will say.
Which, if left unchecked, will make me the new object of scorn.

It all makes me feel isolated. 

More so than I already am.  



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

LGBT Mormon Survey


UPDATE (Nov, 9, 2011): Preliminary Results of LDS-SSA Survey Now Available

UPDATE:  Survey is closed.


Utah State University is conducting a survey for all Mormons or former Mormons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender.

Go here: Exploration of Experiences of and Resources for Same-sex Attracted Latter Day Saints
Click next to read the consent form and more about the person(s) conducting the Survey. 

I completed the survey myself and I found it to be, well, rather cathartic.  There are lots of open ended questions and plenty of space to write out experiences, stories and explanations. Of all the surveys I've take in the past which have attempted to research this subject, I feel like this one is was well thought out as opposed to many in the past that felt like they were written by "religious" high school kids or church institutions.

Anyway, if you identify as LGBT Mormons/Ex-Mormons, or even if you don't, as it says in the consent document that it's for non LGBT Mormons as well, I highly recommend it so that you can tell your version of the story in relation to this matter.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Those Nasty Recruiting Homosexuals

I have been meaning to post something about my resignation from the LDS church but life has gotten so busy lately that I've, well, sort of let this blog collect spiders.

I'm not really going to disturb the spiders much right now but I wanted to draw attention to this post by Maureen over at My Black Bikini.

Since I've already resigned, I don't have much else to do other than go out, proselytize and recruit others to resign as well by taking advantage of their shaky testimonies and pointing their browsers to the Facebook group "Resignate: Mormon mass resign for Prop 8 pending supreme court repeal" that Maureen talks about in her post.

Just so you know, resigning from the church can be a really easy process but there are some specific steps that need to be carried out to ensure you're legally protected from unwanted contact or in some cases harassment.  For more information on the process, please see: Mormon No More.

I have documented my resignation process and may post it here some time. Although, it's really a dry and boring read.  Hell, it bores me just thinking about it.

In the mean time, join us in the Facebook group.  If you've already resigned, join us anyway to offer support to those who are planning on taking this big step. 


Friday, April 8, 2011

Spot of Dirt

I find it really hard to be impressed by a religion that builds commercial centers for wealthy people and invests little to no money in homeless shelters or soup kitchens.  Many times my old ward would set up service opportunities wherin we would volunteer to work with another denomination's soup kitchen.  All time and money came out of our own pockets.  No LDS church funds were ever used to assist.
"City Creek Center, by contrast, was/is being built at ~$3,000 per square foot, or nearly 5x more expensive than the next nearest comparable property, and that’s assuming that the City Creek Center utilizes every square foot of the approximately 20-acre development site."
Source: Truth Hurts: Church Finance – Part IV

Imagine the possibilities of what this kind of money could do if it were spent in ways that really helped people. People who, from no fault of their own, truly needed it?

Source: MormonGags.com

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Question of Choice

It took me awhile to become aware of my gay behaviors.  But from day one, they were gay.  Such as, whom I checked out, crushed on, felt emotional, physical, and spiritual attraction too.   They were all gay behaviors.  But I didn't see them as gay. I wasn't aware that I was doing anything different from anyone else for many years until expectations from the church told me otherwise.

But even then, I didn't understand, nor did I think that much about what I was doing vs. what they think I should be doing.  I was only aware that the way I perceived the world seemed to be unique.  I felt different, weird even, or at odds with those around me.   I wasn't attracted to anyone male or female in any sexual way for reasons I thought had to do with the religious demonization of sexual coupling in general.  I later realized that my sexuality was much more complicated than that.  It wasn't about the sex itself. 

So, from that alone, I am confident that my innate sexual orientation is not a choice. And I'm confident that many of the innate behaviors associated with sexual orientation are not consciously chosen.  But Elder Oaks and Wickman would never believe me, nor would they believe anyone of any educated repute on the subject.  For proof, see LDS.org for more of their mind fuckary on the topic of homosexuality.  Little of it based on reality.  But then, if you believe in the fairytales of that religion, Oaks and Wickman will be fucking with your mind and you won't even know it.  

But there does at some point in life come a choice. And I will grant them that but only so far as they understand the basic definition of the word 'choice' and nothing more. 

The choice comes when acting on it is done consciously.  In that case, it's no one's business what choice I make.  It's my life.  I rule my domain only.  No one has any authority to make that choice for me or even suggest what choice I should be making.  How could anyone know how truly to make a choice for someone else when it comes to how we play out our internal attractions and innate needs and desires?  So, ultimately, the entire argument of choice, whether to be gay or to act on gay feelings, becomes completely irrelevant. 

Let's keep in mind one more thing here, the word 'lifestyle'.  If the religious types want to use the word 'lifestyle' when talking of homosexuality, to reinforce the concept of choice, than they must also accept the term to be used with heterosexuality.   No matter what 'lifestyle' one chooses, a choice to act on one's innate desires has been made either way.   But, why won't those living a heterosexual 'lifestyle' see that they have made a choice?  Because they have never had their choice questioned, ridiculed or demonized.  Those of us in the homosexual 'lifestyle' have. 

So, as a result, we've had an additional choice to make that the heterosexuals do not which is, the choice not to let all of the ridicule, demonization, hatred and bigotry spewed at us every day to stifle our happiness.  So that we may be able to fully accept ourselves. Fully embrace that we are indeed gay and that we have the right to choose that path.  After that, we can then choose to live as we are, openly in a homosexual 'lifestyle'. 

Many heterosexuals don't have a clue what that's like because it has never occurred to them that the heterosexual 'lifestyle' has been shoved down their throats since the day they were born.  Why does that not bother them?   It doesn't bother then because they are not homosexuals.   

UPDATE (Jan 28, 2012): More recent perspective here: The Question of Choice, Again!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Patriarchal Blessing

I had originally set out to do a post about my Patriarchal Blessing late last year but decided to hold on to it until now.  I thought it might be an interesting exercise -- if not slightly narcissistic -- to post it on the 20th anniversary of receiving it, just because it's been, well, 20 years.

Going in to this blessing was sort of a test for me.  I was testing the church, the patriarch and everything.  I wanted to know if this really was a sort of "fortune telling" exercise that I had been lead to believe my whole life.   So when the patriarch asked me specific questions about my hopes, desires and interests I gave non answers.  I gave him nothing to go on.  The only thing he really knew was that I was leaving for the MTC in a few days.

I don't have much to say about a lot of it.  I did sort of appreciate that it was full of well-wishing and positive encouragement, although, much of it bothered me, especially the stuff about the Lord revealing to me who my wife would be.  I just couldn't wrap my head around that.  It bugged me and I didn't understand why.  Not only did it feel unlikely, it felt creepy.  It's as if I had no choice in the matter of my coupling with another human being.  For the most part, I would just skip over that section when I read it.

But despite all that, there was one thing in it that got me to think a bit about some things, in particular the lines:
"Be thankful for the heritage which your parents have given you.  You are privileged to bear the name of your Father which should be a role model for you throughout your life.  One of your missions in life to bring honor to the name they have given you." 
Coming from a highly dysfunctional family, one in which fatherly emotional abuse was a daily occurrence, it was a highly frustrating and yet hopeful thing to say.  As if my purpose was to fix all the shit my dad had done.  It was a pretty lofty goal considering all the generations of dysfunction going back centuries that have given the family name "dishonor".

However, the more I thought about it the more I realized that I didn't know what was meant by honor.  Was this honor the church, in society, my peers or my career?  For a time I thought I should just change my name and walk away.  I hated my name.  But, what would that do?  What name would I have?  And it too could end up being a name with a history of "dishonor".   What's in a name? That which only we call ourselves, whatever word we choose, we are still the same.

Over time, I realized that honor meant whatever I wanted.  The honor I gave my name was simply to honor it in my own mind.  To accept it, embrace it and appreciate its uniqueness and heritage.  So, of all the things stated in the blessing, this one was the only thing that really ended up meaning anything to me in the end.   And it still does.  It turned out to be one of my greatest challenges and rewards.

I don't believe the patriarch was inspired to say that about honor though.  It's a highly cultural Mormon thing to have such things said.  But also, the Mormons do not have a monopoly on familial honor either.

NOTE: For the sake of completeness, I reproduced my blessing below in its entirety, grammar and punctuation mistakes and all.  But the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Although, I thought about removing the patriarchs name but decided to leave it in.  After all, he was somewhat of a public figure. 

Patriarchal Blessing Stats:

Date of blessing: 3 March 1991  [Sunday]
Patriarchal blessing number: #367
Recipient: [The Gay Dot]
Birthdate: 11 Sept 1969
Birthplace: Logan Cache Utah
Father's name: [The Dad Dot]
Mother's name: [The Mum Dot]
Patriarch: David Marriner Merrill, ordained by President Gordon B. Hinckley 16 Nov 1980
Stake: Farmington Utah Stake

The Blessing:

[The] [Gay] [Dot], in keeping with the desire of your heart to know the mind and will of your Heavenly Father and by virtue of my calling in the Holy Priesthood to bless our Father's children, I humbly lay my hands upon your head and give you such blessings and promises and instructions as the Spirit of the Lord may direct.  This blessing is a sacred blessing [Gay Dot], for you and your loved ones to be used as a source of strength and inspiration, to give you guidelines as you face the future. Your Heavenly Father is pleased that you have come to a Patriarch this day to receive a blessing from the Lord especially as you stand on the threshold of greater responsibility and larger experiences incident to your maturity.  May this blessing help you to know the mind and will of your Heavenly Father regarding your sojourn here in mortality.

I promise you that the Lord will not turn you away for he loves you and will be your constant friend.  He loves you for the righteousness of your life and your desire to serve Him and to keep his commandments. It is only natural in your youth that you do not yet understand all of the details of the great plan and scheme of life but I promise you with the passing of years and the enlarging of your experience you will gain a testimony of the Gospel and have a burning in your heart and you will see clearly the role that you are to play in the great drama of life. [Gay Dot] you are a choice young man richly endowed with many talents and abilities. You are one of Heavenly Fathers' noble spirits. He held you in reserve to come to to earth at this time when the Gospel has been restored in its fullness.

You are the seed of Abraham, the lings of Ephraim, the blood of Israel flows through your veins. This is a noble birthright and this birthright entitles you to all of the blessings the Lord promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Be thankful for your ancestors, be thankful for your parents.  They love you. They have taught you with love and understanding the way of life that brings happiness, joy and success.  Be thankful for the heritage which your parents have given you.  You are privileged to bear the name of your Father which should be a role model for you throughout your life.  One of your missions in life to bring honor to the name they have given you.

One of the main reasons for mortal existence is to test how you would exercise your free agency which is a divine gift from your Heavenly Father.  The Lord has given you a free choice to be what you be what you want to be, to do what you want to do, however you are not without help for as you pray the Lord will provide communication with him and invite the promotions of the Spirit for your personal revelation.  I bless you that you will continue to cultivate your faith which will entitle you to the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  He will help you make important and wise decisions.  Life will not always be easy. Every trial, every challenge and hardship that you endure will help you to grow and gain valuable experience and further develop your faith and your testimony.

I bless you that you will embrace ever opportunity to learn of the things of heaven and the things of earth for you are endowed with the power of leadership and already the Lord has called to serve him as a missionary to the people of New Zealand where you will perform a great work which will be to your eternal satisfaction.  This calling is but a beginning of the many calls that will come to you to render service in the Church.  You have been blessed to receive the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood.  You will have many opportunities to see the manifestation of miracles take place as a result of the power which you have.

The Lord has blessed you with a strong, healthy body, God's greatest creation.  This body has marvelous power and marvelous function.  The Lord expects you to continue to keep it pure, and clean and virtuous.  Living a pure life will bring joy that surpasses your power of expression of understanding.  I bless you with the power of discernment that you may know good from evil, right from wrong, that Satan will have no power over you beyond that which you can endure.  I give unto you a promise of you will heed the still, small voice within you when you are tempted Satan will leave you untouched.

I bless you that you will excel and succeed in your chosen profession that those who will one day be dependent upon you will be able to enjoy the good things of life.  In due time of the Lord he will reveal to you the one he has prepared to be your wife, the mother of your children, to walk this life and the eternities with you.  Temple marriage will prepare you for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Your children will be born under the new and everlasting covenant and you will become an eternal family.

Now [Gay Dot] I bid you go forward in the power and majesty of your wonderful young manhood, living an exemplary life, asking the Lord for help and guidance that you may reach your divine potential with honor and glory.  To this end I bless you and give you every other blessing it is my right to bestow upon you as a Patriarch.  The blessings you received from the Lord this day must be earned through your faithfulness in keeping the commandments of God, following the council of the loving prophets here on the earth during your lifetime.  When your life is finished and your work is done you will be privileged to share in the fruits of the glorious resurrection.  You will live with Christ upon the earth as a king and a priest unto the Most High over your own dominion forever and ever.  These blessings I bestow upon you by the power and authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood and as a Patriarch in the Lord's Church in the name of the Lord our Savoir Jesus Christ, even  so   Amen.

[signed] David M. Merrill
---------------------------------
Patriarch

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Have I Really Lost?

Over the past few weeks since my big friend fallout on Facebook, I've been thinking about what happened with the breakdown in communication.  Why did it break down?  And why did it break down so badly?

I had a lapse in good judgment, vented publicly some old hurts, didn't use the best choice of words, and managed to offend some, despite the fact that none of it had been directed at them or anyone in particular.  Sometimes I'm rational; sometimes I'm not.  That time I was not.  When others rant and vent about things, whether it's directed at me or not, I have an understanding about what is going on.  I know that they may be irrational, that what they are saying is not really about me.  I know not to take it personally.  That's why I allow others the space to vent.  But I had forgotten that not everyone has that same understanding and some things I said were taken personally.

There was no way I could help them see the error in what they were saying, believing, and assuming about my meanings or intentions.  But that didn't really matter; I didn't know what my intentions were at the time, which was why I was venting.   We were talking past each other.  So I just stopped talking all together and let the other person say what they needed to say and believe what they wanted to believe, about me.

All these years of progress, of letting go and moving on, trying to become a whole, self-defined individual, by reprogramming my thinking, vocabulary, humor, self-expression and identity; they all had no idea of who I was anymore, what I was about, why I felt the way I did.  And I was trying to explain it.  Albeit, poorly, but I was trying.  They just didn't understand; they also didn't really care.  They, for the most part, really wanted me to return to the way I used to be.  That wasn't possible. So in the end, I lost their friendship.  This was more than a stupid Facebook de-friending; this was the real deal.

But, was losing them as friends really what hurt so much?  No, what really hurt was the profound realization that when leaving the Mormon religion, letting go of god and all such religious belief, learning about a bigger picture of the world and how it worked, I had actually lost my ability to communicate with them.  I had lost my ability to see things through the eyes of Mormon politics, theology, culture and dogma.  I can still understand all these things, but I no longer understand them from the point of view of a believer.  But, when I was a believer, my understanding of them troubled me.  Could that have been because I was never a true believer? Or was I simply noticing things that others were not seeing?  And then getting frustrated and hurt as any attempt I made to describe or inquire about my observations were mocked and dismissed.

It reminds me of the story, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbot, a story that has had a subtle but profound impact on my life ever since I was introduced to it in 1986.  In that story there was a Square who lived in a two dimensional (2D) world who suddenly, albeit with much drama, found himself in a three dimensional (3D) world.  After that experience, no matter how hard he tried, he was never able to convince anyone in the 2D world about the 3D world.  That's what happened to me.  I could no longer see it only in 2D; I had the 3D version.  And the 3D language wouldn't translate to 2D without losing much of its information and meaning.

But, unlike the Square, who seemed perfectly content to live in 2D, until he was forced into the 3D, I was never satisfied by 2D.  It had stopped working for me. I saw too many contradictions and conflicts.  Many were essentially swept under the rug, and dismissed by those who claimed to have all the answers.  I needed something different, deeper, more meaningful and more applicable to now rather than only looking at that the imaginary future.  So I took a different path and learned things about my world that now make sense to me.  But they all seemed diametrically opposed to what everyone else believed.  At which point the communication gap went from a crack to canyon.  And all this time, I hadn't realized just how big that canyon had become.  And just like in the story, the misunderstandings across that divide would often elevate to frustrations, insults, and conflict.  Especially when I was reminded of the hurt I had felt while living in my old 2D world.

I can't force anyone to see things from my point of view.  All I can do is just say it and those who are looking will find it.  That's how it worked for me; I went looking for it.  But now that I've found it, I want to talk about it.  But, not everyone will like what I say.  I know it's not my problem even though they all may think it's my problem.  I have to let them believe what they wish, and if that means they want to believe I'm a bad person, then that is their right.

I'm not saying this to mean that I'm better than they are.  3D vs. 2D is not an "us" vs. "them" idea.  It's just that in one particular aspect of our lives we don't see things from the same perspective and understanding.  My thinking shifted perpendicular to theirs.  What they see as a circle, I can now see as a sphere or a cone, or a cylinder.  All they see is a circle.   But the huge irony of all this is that we both claim to have "the big picture". 

Throughout the story of Flatland, there are several events where a higher dimensional being is trying to communicate to a lower dimensional being about what they really are, and failing every time.  The only time it was successful was when one of those beings, the Square, was physically moved into the 3D space.  At which point it all became clear to him.  But by doing so, he crossed a line that could not be uncrossed.  And even though, in the end, he remained trapped in the 2D world forever, his thinking had permanently changed the way he viewed that world.

And like the Square, there just isn't any way I can go back to thinking in 2D.  3D is so much more engaging, enlightening and rewarding.  And there is a hell of a lot of stuff in 3D to learn and experience. I just can't spend a lot of time thinking in 2D anymore.  And yet, I must caution myself.  The Sphere in his arrogance, refused to accept the Square's suggestion that higher dimensions were thinkable.  And quickly showed that he was just as limited in his thinking in 3D as the Polygons were in 2D or the Line was in 1D.  Those worlds worked for them just fine and they saw no reason to look beyond them.

In my haste, I've found myself getting too attached to my new 3D world and assuming that it is a complete picture, and in my own arrogance have tried to force in on others who have no desire to know if it.  Also, my attachment has in the past closed me off from discovering 4D, 5D, 6D and so on, in other areas, until something drastic hits to knock me out of it.  The funny thing is it took a nervous breakdown to make that "leap of faith" in to the 3D realm for me.  I would hope that it doesn't always have to take such drama to gain new perspectives.  Many people seem to have done it without all the drama; it seems silly to keep doing it with all the drama.  But, I guess that's probably a bit optimistic to make such an assumption.  Whether that drama is internal or external, there is always going to be drama.  The Sphere was offended and chastised the Square for suggesting that 4D or 5D could be possible.  And the Square was imprisoned in 2D for attempting to talk of the 3D world, which had been made illegal.  At least it was better than execution, which was the other option.  And in all cases, the object in the higher dimension would arrogantly try to impress upon those in a lower dimension a differing view of the world.  Conflict ensued. Drama.

I guess the easy thing to do is just say nothing, keep it too myself and shut myself off from the world in order to avoid the pain of rejection and ridicule.  Or, say something, and just accept that all my old friends believe that I am their enemy.  Compartmentalize, perhaps?  I don't know.  I really hate it when people tell me that if my friends can't accept me now, then they never really were my friends.  Is that really true?  I just don't buy it.  Or, am I just stubbornly trying to hold on to the past?  I prefer to think that we can no longer have expression in friendships because we no longer speak the same language.  Or is that just being naive?  I would hope not.  I've had friendships suddenly "come back" to me the second I found myself in 3D.  When all that time I thought they had turned their backs on me, they were really there, just standing outside my range of vision, waiting for me to turn and face them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Rejected Ensign Article

I was pondering once about how everything on earth seems to have a purpose and how it seems to be perfectly designed for our benefit, a good example being the banana, a natural food that is healthy and fits perfectly in my perfectly designed hand on my perfectly designed body.  Bananas being a perfect food should be eaten frequently, so I eat a lot of them!

But one day, I noticed something seemed to be off.  I wasn't feeling the spiritually upbeat feelings that I have always felt.  And I soon found myself on the toilet trying to poop but I couldn't. I pushed as hard as I could.  I didn't understand what could have gone wrong. Could I have eaten too many bananas?  This supposedly natural bodily process of a bowel movement was becoming especially difficult and increasingly uncomfortable, as it seemed to linger half way out of my butt. 

It caused me to doubt for a moment if God had really made everything perfect. If we really were perfectly designed, then why can’t I poop?  It seems like something is messed up in how this natural process was supposed to work. If I’m supposed to be designed to poop, than why is it so difficult sometimes?  Why would I have to work so hard to poop?  I began to curse God!  Why would God to that? 

I was having a crisis of faith.

But then, something amazing happened, which gave me pause and later shame for feeling any doubts.   When the poop finally slid out and plopped in the toilet, it made a perfect splash that hit me right square in the bum hole!  It was amazing!  The cool water sent shivers up my spine and I knew it was the Holy Ghost witnessing to me the truth of our perfect existence and divine potential.

What I was witnessing first hand, was a natural cleansing process.  The water splash in the perfect spot to render toilet paper and other man made cleaning to be unnecessary.  How could that be an accident?  That had to be designed that way!  By an intelligent designer, Heavenly Father!  The natural world and all its creatures were truly designed to be self cleaning! We may not be able to lick ourselves clean like a dog or cat but God didn’t intend for us to be cleaned that way.  He created a way for us to be cleaned naturally by making our poop splash water on us in the right place when we poop.

It was at that moment I became convinced that even though we may not always first understand the purpose of all things, with faith in God and the power of the Holy Ghost, all things will be revealed to us. Line upon line, precept on precept, all things will be revealed in time as long as we obey His prophets and trust that everything works in harmony as God has designed it. God is the creator of all things and has Intelligently Designed a way for us to be cleansed of all ungodly filth by immersion in the holy waters of anal baptism.   And again, through Christ’s Atonement, we will be cleansed spiritually of dirty thoughts about playing with our bums in ways that could make us gay.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Not To Love

I have a complicated ego.  (Don't we all?)  It shields me from reality, keeping me lost in the sea of its preconceived notion of itself.  And then shields me from the crap that its preconceived notion emits by rationalizing it into something else. Ultimately, how I end up seeing myself is completely different from how others see me.   Who gets the correct view of whom I am?  Neither.  Both are pretty much fucked up.

When it comes to shit like that, friendships can be, and will get, utterly destroyed.  And my ego, in its attempt to take the moral high ground by attempting to not judge their responses, can't see what harm has been done to that other person.  Completely oblivious really.  It's so messed up.

What it ultimately comes down to is my ego butting heads with someone else's ego.  And my ego will not let me see that that is what I'm doing.  Yes, my battered and bruised ego, injured from decades of abuse, screams out acidic tirades in frustration, all the while telling me it's simply expressing a truth that other people need to understand.  No concept of whether it's appropriate or even relevant.  It's oblivious to that reality.  And then my ego has the audacity to be confused and offended, if that screaming is rejected, dismissed or challenged.

So what am I going on about?
Me shoving my Dirty Laundry into other people's faces.

No one likes that shit.  No one.  It's a lose-lose.  Always has been, always will be.

I would have imagined that in time I could open up to people.  Come out of the closet about this blog.  To remove the anonymity and let it stand as a connection to my past.  Show how I've worked through things, and come to learn who I am.  But now, I'm not so sure this blog should exist.  It may need to disappear completely and permanently off the Internet.  I may need to disappear completely and permanently off the Internet too.

All the plans I had, wiped out by my own arrogance and smug self-righteousness.  Oblivious I was.  Fucking oblivious.  Patting myself on the back for all the great work I've done only to find I've done nothing but make enemies where I had none before.  They had done NOTHING to me.  They had been patiently putting up with my bullshit for DECADES.  They had defended me and stood-up for me when I was at my most assholishness.  They didn't give a shit that I was gay.  They didn't give a shit I left the church.  And then, I turn around and spit on them to feed my little bruised ego.  What was I trying to gain from that?  A reason to say, "Oh poor me. Look, see, no one really likes me."   Self induced pity.   This entire blog has turned into a pity party for me.  What the fuck was I thinking?

I don't care if people think that they shouldn't have been offended by what I was doing.  That's no excuse.  Why? Because deep down I knew that what I was doing was going to offend.  I may not have known why, or how or who specifically, but I did know it would offend, on purpose.  I was trying to push buttons. 

I have written and spoken at times about how it is not my responsibility to protect other people's view of the world by compromising who I am.  I still mean it.  It's just that in this case, I crossed the line and compromised myself in an attempt to selfishly destroy someone else's view of the world.  That's a big difference!  When my view of the world changed, it wasn't because someone was shoveling it on me.  I did it on my own because I needed to do it.  But then I snapped.  Something had triggered my pain. I quickly forgot my experiences and selfishly expected that others needed their world view changed.  Even when it was working perfectly well for them, maybe even better than the one I was currently trying to shovel.  It was pure hypocrisy from a lapse of self-awareness.

I can say it like I see it but it doesn't matter if buttons are purposely pushed.  They will only create conflict and close hearts, hearts that have been so willing to work with me and let me be myself.  Hearts that put up with the button pushing until it became so toxic that they had to shut down to protect themselves from annihilation.  Pushing to that point is poison.  It's healthy to remove toxic people from your life.  But I didn't realize that I would be the toxin.  I lost my awareness of that.

But get this, even though I had been pushing buttons for decades, the weird thing was, only recently had I become aware I had been purposely pushing buttons.  That seems odd, doesn't it?  The ego was in charge, and I was oblivious. I had not understood how stupid it was.  How destructive, how evil.  In fact, my ego thought it was just the way I do things.  I even told people in all confidence that I'm the type that needs to test people.  As if "on purpose" wasn't really "on purpose".  I really thought I had figured that part out. I was proud of myself.  Oblivious to what it really truly was.  Oblivious to what others already knew.  A character flaw, personality disorder, mental illness, whatever.  It is all those things but most importantly, to the unbeknown victim, it is the definition of an asshole.

But then I realized what I was doing was wrong.  I understood that it was a flaw, I understood its error and acknowledged it, I even stopped doing it, or so my ego told me.  No, I hadn't stopped doing it at all.  I had only stopped doing it to new friends.  I was still doing it to my old friends.   I wasn't aware that my habitual, destructive behavior had not gone away.  I was still a raging asshole.  After all these years, after all I've gone through.  Still, a raging asshole.


I need to forgive myself and move on.  The damage is done.  No amount of apology will be believed at this point.  I brought that on myself.  It's over.  Some may forgive me.  I may never know.   I don't know what else I can do other than take the punches as they are returned.  And they are still punching.  It's their right.

I could say that I love my friends but if I really do, then I would be letting them live their life just like they have been letting me live mine.  So until I can lean to do that, I'm not capable of truly loving someone.  But, I want to love, so I'm going to keep trying.


You know, this entire blog was set up to air my Dirty Laundry.  I haven't always used it for that but that's what its main purpose was.  Why on earth would I think that anyone would want to read it?  And I hope that no one finds it.  Because if they think the shit I put on Facebook was offensive, most of which I don't even write, wait until they read the drivel here.

And that's another thing, if I could just fucking stop airing my Dirty Laundry on Facebook.  Of all the places not to do that, Facebook would be the one.  There really are places I can go which would be appropriate, for one, the therapist's chair, and here, once I make it a private blog.  It will do no good to try and erase the past.  The internet has made that impossible.  I'll have to own up to it eventually.

I do not pity myself for all this mess, so for hell's sake don't pity me.  I believe this is the essence of the human condition, to live, learn, and love.  I'm doing my best with what I have and there are bumps along the way.  And what I've learned so far is how not to love.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yellow Orb


Oh, Yellow Orb of happiness,
you hid behind the trees.
I have no sorrow you can mend,
the moon won't take from me.
Sorry, Yellow Orb of joy,
I'm not in place to feel your ray,
but shut inside a cold stone tomb,
until I'm free to play.

Oh, Yellow Orb of wonder,
I hope to see you soon.
Before my artificial white of ski,
sinks it's heart into my doom.
Oh, Yellow Orb of swift abandon,
 You hide from me to soon.
When freedom granted my return,
You hid beyond the moon.

View from my office chair. Jan 21, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Beach

I love the ocean beach in the winter time.   The air is crisp, and fresh and not a chain smoker in sight.

The landscape is serene with clear blue skies, endless horizon, birds...




more birds...


my boots...







and a beautiful a Belgium draft horse... 




I could spend all weekend out here...

Which is exactly what I did.

All pictures: January 15-16, 2011: Ocean City, MD

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Family

Hypatia has posted another thoughtful little piece on what it means to be in "The Family". In this case, a typical Mormon family.   This is real stuff people.  This is how I remember it to be when I was growing up.  And we ex-Mo's have every right to feel the way we do for good reason.  

TBM's will no doubt find her post offensive and disagree.  There will even be some who would try to sympathize or they may even attempt to empathize, but with reckless abandon they will load it all with conditions and apologetics.  Yawn!

Well, TBMs, you can say all you want but it won't change the fact that you're all batshit crazy.

Anywhoo, thanks Hypatia, for another great post on Mormon co-dependency!

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